Gridhot.ID – Not only Indonesia is currently hot.
Thailand is also being hit by massive demos due to political turmoil.
Prime Minister Thailand declared a state of severe emergency in the capital Bangkok overnight, due Police arrested more than 20 people, including prominent student leaders calling for reform monarchy.
Tens of thousands of people, including high school students, gathered in Bangkok on Thursday, opposing the ban announced as part of a crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
On Thursday afternoon, crowds ignored the ban on gathering at one of the city’s busiest intersections, Ratchaprasong, where they chanted “free our friends” and chanted Police “dictatorial slave”.
Under the emergency measure, gatherings of five or more people have been banned, as has the publication of news or information online that “could cause fear” or “affect national security”.
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This follows major protests on Wednesday, in which protesters repeated calls for democratic reforms, including curbing the wealth and power of the royal family, an institution long protected from criticism by harsh defamation laws.
Early Thursday morning, riot police approached protesters outside the Government Building, where they were camped to demand the resignation of the prime minister, Prayuth Chan-ocha.
“Like cornered dogs, we fought to the death,” Panupon Jadnok, one of the leaders of the protests, told the crowd on Thursday (15/10/202) afternoon.
“We will not back down. We will not run. We’re not going anywhere, “he said.
School students attending the rally use duct tape to hide identification tags on their school uniforms.
One protester holds a sign that reads: “Dear family and friends, if I am being hurt, please don’t be angry with me for coming to the protest. But please be angry at those who hurt people.”
“The Pheu Thai Party urges General Prayuth Chan-ocha and other officials to lift the emergency status and stop intimidating the Thai people and immediately release those arrested,” said the party, which has a majority in parliament.
Among those arrested were human rights lawyer Anon Nampa, activist Prasit Krutharote, and student leader Parit Chiwarak, known as Penguin, Panusaya Sithijirawattanakul, known as Rung, and Nathchanon Pairoj.
Prasit, Panusaya and Nathchanon have been denied bail and will be taken to prison, according to Thai media.
Anon said on Facebook he was forced to take a helicopter to the northern city of Chiang Mai.
According to Human Rights Watch, the new emergency measures allow police to detain protesters without charge for up to 30 days, without access to a lawyer or family.
“The right to free speech and peaceful public meetings is on the cutting block of a government that is now showing its utter dictatorial nature,” said Phil Robertson, deputy director, Asia division, at Human Rights Watch.
On Wednesday, tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Bangkok to call on Prayuth, who came to power during the 2014 coup, to step down and for a new constitution, which they say weighed on last year’s general election in support of Prayuth.
They also called for the monarchy’s budget to be reduced, the king’s private funds separated from the crown assets and the repeal of laws prohibiting criticism of the monarchy.
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During Wednesday’s demonstration, a royal motorcade passed the crowd of protesters, who chanted “my tax” and raised a symbolic three-finger greeting, a defiant gesture.
Thai media reported arrest warrants had been issued against the two people in connection with the incident under article 110 of the Penal Code, which covers acts of violence against the queen. This can carry a life sentence.
Internet users have also reported that they are unable to access Change.org, which has organized a petition calling for King Maha Vajiralongkorn to be declared persona non grata in Germany.
He was criticized by protesters for spending most of his time in Europe. The petition has attracted more than 115,000 signatures.
Thailand is still in a state of emergency introduced to control the spread of the corona virus, but a government spokesman said further action was needed.
“To ensure peace and order and to prevent further incidents after protesters influenced the royal motorcade and violated the monarchy with provocative language”.
The opposition Forward Maju party has called for a state of emergency to be lifted, saying protesters are not blocking the motorcade.
In a statement, Amnesty International described the assembly as very peaceful and said the arrests were made.
“clearly designed to root out dissent, and sow fear on anyone who sympathizes with the protesters’ views.”
The Free Youth protest group, which organized Thursday’s meeting, called the arrests “an act of violence without legitimacy”.
“Under a true democracy, demonstration is a basic right. No one should be arrested because they are telling the truth, ”said the group.
“This is an act to perpetuate the country’s authoritarian rule, not for the good of the people. The state recognizes the monarchy as one of the reasons for declaring the decision. Therefore, it can be said that monarchy is against democracy. “
Deputy police spokesperson, Krissana Pattanacharoen, said the student leaders who had called for Thursday’s demonstration “clearly broke the law”.
Panusaya, 21, who studies sociology and anthropology, told the Guardian before Wednesday’s protests he had no fear of being arrested. The only concern is that the pro-democracy movement must continue.
“We discussed having the first and second rows [pemimpin protes], ”He said.
“I told my friends to prepare it: ‘One day I will be arrested. You don’t have to worry about me. ” ‘
This article was published on Wartakotalive with the title Thai Prime Minister Forced to Withdraw, Demonstrators Call Dictator Boy Police